Woman Loses Insurance Coverage Lawsuit Over Exploding Corpse Damage

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A woman seeking insurance coverage for damage caused by an exploding corpse has lost her case.

Judy Rodrigo, of Jupiter, Florida, has been in a legal battle with State Farm Insurance for six years. It all began when her neighbor’s corpse exploded and caused damage to her condominium, reports the Daily Mail.

Rodrigo claimed State Farm should pay for the clean-up of her apartment because the Keystone Condominium Association left the corpse of her neighbor for so long that the “buildup of corruptive gases caused it to explode, and the liquids leaked inter her unit,” states the Courthouse News Service.

“Another unit owner's body exploded thereby causing blood and bodily fluids to go into the adjoining condominium and the unit owned by Judy Rodrigo,” read Rodrigo’s civil lawsuit against State Farm.

Rodrigo’s neighbor Nicholas Colangelo said the deceased woman lived alone and did not have any family. It was not until the odor from her decaying body was smelled in adjacent units that maintenance men forced open her apartment door and discovered her body; an estimated two weeks after her death and with her dog chewing on her corpse.

"I don't know how the dog stayed alive. It must have been at her for some time," Colangelo said.

The NY Daily News reports that court documents state a contractor with State Farm inspected Rodrigo’s unit and signed an appraisal award, which Rodrigo rejected because she wanted full coverage for the damage caused.

State Farm’s argument was that her policy covered personal property damage for specific items, and a decomposing body was not one of them.

The argument between Rodrigo and State Farm continued with Rodrigo claiming an “explosion” was covered under her policy. State Farm disagreed claiming a “decomposing body does not constitute an explosion.”

Judge Melanie May agreed and ruled in favor of State Farm.

“Rather than stretching common sense, the trial court correctly gave the term "explosion" its "plain and unambiguous meaning as understood by the man on the street,"' May wrote. “The plain meaning of the term "explosion" does not include a decomposing body's cells explosively expanding, causing leakage of bodily fluids.”

"In short, although novel in her attempt to do so, the insured could not establish that the decomposing body was tantamount to an explosion,” May said in regards to Rodrigo’s claim.